THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, SUNDAY MORNING. AUGUST 11. 1935
DECASSERES PLANS U. S. LIBERTY FIGHT
Philosopher Turns to New Credo in “War on Collectivism”
NEW YORK, Aug. 10 (A. P.) Benjamin DeCasseres, philosopher and descendant of philosophers, turned today from his abstractions to what he termed “a fighting political realism in the defense of American liberty.”
“I purpose from now on,” he said, to use all my forces in battling for the preservation of the American-British-French ideal of civil liberties against Communism. Fascism, Nazism or any form of collectivism that ties the individual to the Juggernaut of a dictatorial State.
“The difference between Communism and Fascism is a difference in stench.” The descendant of Spinoza, great Dutch philosopher of the 18th century, turned his back on the philosophers of antiquity and modernity.
Rings Liberty Bell
“I have hobnobbed with Buddha and Aeschylus, Plato and Schopenhauer, Spinoza and Nietzsche, Victor Hugo and Baudelaire, Goethe and Heine, Montaigne and Whitman, Hegel and Keats, Thomas Hardy and Dostoievsky,” he said,”-in fact, with the whole earth brain trust.
“I salute them in temporary farewell, walk down Olympus into Independence Hall, roll up my sleeves, carry the Liberty Bell up to the tower—and ring it till it either cracks to dust or until I die.” For his battle cry DeCasseres has taken a new American credo, culled from the men he considers the great type American political leaders—Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.
“I believe with Benjamin Franklin that any nation that exchanges its liberty for security is not worthy of either.
“I believe with Thomas Jefferson that the least government is the best government.
“All my life I have divided my spiritual, mental and emotional activities between Olympus and Independence Hall.”
“That is, part of me pursued truth and beauty in the great thinkers and poets, and part of me pursued with passionate militancy the fierce individualism of Thomas Jefferson.
“Today I leave Olympus, except for short visits, and move, bag and baggage, into Independence Hall and Monticello.” DeCasseres said he considered that “there is a mighty war being fought now in every country in the world.”
“It is individualism versus collectivism; freedom versus reactionary totalitarianism.
“I shall advocate individualism against all forms of standardized stagnation, sterile conformity, beehive Socialism. Communism and the efforts of capitalism to monopolize the necessities of life.
“The most brutal form of capitalism is the totalitarian State: Russia, Germany and Italy.”
The philosopher, although he has turned from thoughts to deeds, insists on the rational approach to action.
“Every American worthy of the name,” he said, should know why he is an American.
“And having found out that this greatest deliberate experiment ever made in human liberties, with all its attendant faults and corruptions, is the superior politically of any other Government that has heretofore appeared on earth, he should be prepared to risk everything to save it from the threatened universal catastrophe of the superstitious belief that the State is a miracle machine.”